Friday

16th Nov 2018

EU proposes better life for pigs

The European Commission has adopted a report on intensive pig farming and a proposal amending EU legislation on the protection of pigs to improve welfare conditions.

It sets out rules to improve the living environment of pigs and piglets in general, setting requirements for living spaces, floor surfaces, and proper feeding systems. New requirements for training of pig handlers are also introduced.

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David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection said at the presentation of the report, that animal welfare issues are an integral part of the future EU farming policy. “We want to be moving towards a farming system that combines efficient rearing with rearing methods that are acceptable to the vast majority of the public,” he said.

The EU pig population added up to 125 million heads in 1998; 12.6 million of those are breeding sows, mainly concentrated in Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands and Denmark. Production of pig meat has become a highly specialised industry geared to fattening animals according to pre-established standards with strict delivery deadlines.

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